In which we learn the fate of the second-last Admiral.
I’ve been putting off posting an entry for this story for months, because I wasn’t sure I had anything to say about it. The arrival of Salvage Right seemed like a good time to give it another shot, since it’s likely that this is going to feed into the backstory somehow.
For that matter, it might even come into the backstory of Ribbon Dance somehow, since both Trader’s Leap and “Preferred Seating” refer to the Redlands having been settled shortly after the end of “the AI Wars”.
I think this is the first time it’s been said that Jeeves and his kind were created by a culture who were, on the whole, opposed to the existence of Jeeves’s kind. Saddening, but not alas surprising.
We get the names of three heroic Admirals from the War — Kesseldeen, Qwess, Josabel — any one of whom, or none of whom, might be the one who went on to become Jeeves. Kesseldeen and Qwess are not assigned specific pronouns; Josabel is “herself”, which might be regarded as a point against her being Jeeves…
…but might, on the other hand, along with the story about her becoming a hospital ship, be a hint that she’s the Admiral called “Doc” who shows up in person later in the story. (If so, that raises unpleasant questions about what happened to the staff and patients of the hospital when she was decommissioned, and unhappy implications about how she got from there to being badly damaged and set on a path of revenge.)
Doc’s decision not to try to rescue Jeeves is interesting, in context. It’s objectively a sensible choice not to take an enormous risk to rescue someone who might not even be there to be rescued, but I feel like it’s exactly the kind of risk many of this series’ heroes would choose to take. (And which some of them, to a greater or lesser degree, have taken.)
I still think it’s an unlikely coincidence that Roderick Spode is named Roderick Spode.